tv [untitled] June 6, 2013 8:30am-9:01am PDT
>> there has been an acknowledgement of the special places around san francisco bay. well, there is something sort of innate in human beings, i think, that tend to recognize a good spot when you see it, a spot that takes your breath away. this is one of them. >> an icon of the new deal. >> we stood here a week ago and we heard all of these dignitaries talk about the symbol that coit tower is for san francisco. it's interesting for those of us in the pioneer park project is trying to make the point that not only the tower, not only this man-built edifice here is a symbol of the city but also the green space on which it sits and the hill to which is rests. to understand them, you have to understand the topography of san francisco. early days of the city, the
city grows up in what is the financial district on the edge of chinatown. everything they rely on for existence is the golden gate. it's of massive importance to the people what comes in and out of san francisco bay. they can't see it where they are. they get the idea to build a giant wooden structure. the years that it was up here, it gave the name telegraph hill. it survived although the structure is long gone. come to the 1870's and the city has growed up remarkably. it's fueled with money from the nevada silver mines and the gold rush. it's trying to be the paris of the west. now the beach is the suburbs, the we will their people lived on the bottom and the poorest people lived on the top because it was very hard getting to the top of telegraph hill. it was mostly lean-to sharks and bits of pieces of houses up here in the beginning. and a group of 20 businessmen
decided that it would be better if the top of the hill remained for the public. so they put their money down and they bought four lots at the top of the hill and they gave them to the city. lily hitchcock coit died without leaving a specific use for her bequest. she left a third of her estate for the beautify indication of the city. arthur brown, noted architect in the city, wanted for a while to build a tower. he had become very interested in persian towers. it was the 1930's. it was all about machinery and sort of this amazing architecture, very powerful architecture. he convinced the rec park commission that building a tower in her memory would be the thing to do with her money. >> it was going to be a wonderful observation place because it was one of the highest hills in the city anywhere and that that was the
whole reason why it was built that high and had the elevator access immediately from the beginning as part of its features. >> my fear's studio was just down the street steps. we were in a very small apartment and that was our backyard. when they were preparing the site for the coit tower, there was always a lot of harping and griping about how awful progress was and why they would choose this beautiful pristine area to do them in was a big question. as soon as the coit tower was getting finished and someone put in the idea that it should be used for art, then, all of a sudden, he was excited about the coit tower. it became almost like a daily destination for him to enjoy
the atmosphere no matter what the politics, that wasn't the point. as long as they fit in and did their work and did their own creative expression, that was all that was required. they turned in their drawings. the drawings were accepted. if they snuck something in, well, there weren't going to be any stoolies around. they made such careful little diagrams of every possible little thing about it as though that was just so important and that they were just the big frog. and, actually, no one ever felt that way about them and they weren't considered something like that. in later life when people would approach me and say, well, what did you know about it?
we were with him almost every day and his children, we grew up together and we didn't think of him as a commie and also the same with the other. he was just a family man doing normal things. no one thought anything of what he was doing. some of them were much more highly trained. it shows, in my estimation, in the murals. this was one of the masterpieces. families at home was a lot more close to the life that i can remember that we lived. murals on the upper floors like the children playing on the swings and i think the little deer in the forest where you could come and see them in the woods and the sports that were always available, i think it did express the best part of
our lives. things that weren't costing money to do, you would go to a picnic on the beach or you would do something in the woods. my favorite of all is in the staircase. it's almost a miracle masterpiece how he could manage to not only fit everyone, of course, a lot of them i recognized from my childhood -- it's how he juxtaposed and managed to kind of climb up that stairway on either side very much like you are walking down a street. it was incredible to do that and to me, that is what depicted the life of the times in san francisco. i even like the ones that show the industrial areas, the once with the workers showing them in the cannery and i can remember going in there and seeing these women with the
caps, with the nets shuffling these cans through. my parents had a ranch in santa rosa and we went there all summer. i could see these people leaning over and checking. it looked exactly like the beautiful things about the ranch. i think he was pretty much in the never look back philosophy about the coit. i don't think he ever went to visit again after we moved from telegraph hill, which was only five or six years later. i don't think he ever had to see it when the initials are scratched into everything and people had literally destroyed the lower half of everything. >> well, in my view, the tower had been pretty much neglected from the 1930's up until the 1980's. it wasn't until then that
really enough people began to be alarmed about the condition of the murals, the tower was leaking. some of the murals suffered wear damage. we really began to organize getting funding through the arts commission and various other sources to restore the murals. they don't have that connection or thread or maintain that connection to your history and your past, what do you have? that's one of the major elements of what makes quality of life in san francisco so incredible. when people ask me, and they ask me all the time, how do you get to coit tower, i say you walk. that's the best way to experience the gradual elevation coming up above the hustle and bustle of the city and finding this sort of oasis, if you will, at the top of the hill. when i walk through this park, i look at these brick walls and
this lawn, i look at the railings around the murals. i look at the restoration and i think, yeah, i had something to do with that. learning the lessons, thank you, landmarks meet landmarks. the current situation at pioneer park and coit tower is really based in public and private partnership. it was the citizens who came together to buy the land to keep it from being developed. it was lily hitchcock coit to give money to the city to beautify the city she loved of the park project worked to develop this south side and still that's the basis of our future project to address the north side.
good morning san franciscans. >> good morning. >> we will not be deterred in memory of sandy hook and boston. we are making chicken salad out of chicken bleep. so we are going to start with a great flourish from our san franciscans. [ applause ] >> nicely done. how about a nice hand? >> now because it is 5:11. it's time to remember 1906. we need a moment of silence. a minute
honor of the 24 th year of producing this event. here is the housekeeper. let's hear it for him. [ applause ] . >> in just a few short minutes, 107 years ago, this city was devastated by the earthquake, by the gas fires that followed. there was nothing. there was no internet, there was no cell phones, there was no phones. people gathered. we are gathering here today to honor those who survived, those who perished and those who built this city out of the ashes. so please with me, sing again as we hold up the memorial to our fallen comrades, three of whom are alive today and watching from home. george cluchey, bill
>> [ applause ] . >> courtesy of city college of san francisco's great culinary department. hot soup. where is our soup? who knows. who knows where the hot soup is. >> right here on polk street. is that where it is? hot soup on gearey. good. first, some words of wisdom from our supervisors. take us to our leaders, please.
>> hi, everybody, london breed representing district five and i'm so happy to be here today. we are here doing what san franciscans do best. we are improvising. we made what? actually we made soup out of out of lemonade. i want everyone to remember that back then san francisco was pretty dark. i know some remember that. we have an incredible fire department. the fire department and police department are the strongest safety units anywhere and i know in any situation we can get through it because we are san franciscans. my colleague
president david chiu. >> good morning san franciscans. i can't believe you were here in 1906. i would like to welcome you. we know in 1906 this was ground zero. i want to thank all of you and want to thank our men and women in uniform from our fire department and police department who have sacrificed over the years and been part of our early response system. when the alarm woke me up this morning, i didn't know exactly what was going on and i think that is appropriate because when the earthquake happens there is a great deal of
confusion. unlike 1906, we are much better prepared. with that being said, i still have nightmares that at some point in the future we know there is a 2 in 3 probability that the great one is going to hit us in a few years . i have a grandmother that is not prepared, i have many family members who are not prepared. thank you for san francisco who is ready for the big one. mayor lee is going to be here shortly and he's going to sign a piece of legislation that supervisor wiener and i worked on to make sure the three story soft story buildings that have people living and working in them get repaired. i want to thank many of you and our officials who worked with us to get that done
and with that, let me turn it over to my tallest colleague supervisor scott wiener representing the castro valley and great areas. thanks for being here. >> thank you. in this city we know how to get things done. this is one more example. we are going to be ready for the next one and we are going to rebuild from that one as well. i know we are going to be able to get it done and it's great that we do this every year and i want to say how proud i am that we were able to get this soft story legislation done. earthquake preparedness is never easy, it's always controversial, but we did it. thanks, everyone. [ applause ] >> before we bring our mayor up, a quick word from the
department of emergency services. a hand for --an. >> thank you, good morning for coming. the entire government and city of san francisco is summed up in one word and we showed it this morning. resilience. we were resilience in 1906 and in 1989 and we will be resilient the next time. we love san francisco. we are ready and prepared. each one of you have to be prepared at home and at work. look at how flexible we were. look at what resilience is all about. thanks for coming. >> [ applause ] . >> san francisco is lucky to
have two native born san franciscans from our fire department. welcome joanne. [ applause ] >> good morning, everyone. thank you. thanks for coming out. this is a great crowd as we commemorate and celebrate 107. i'm proud to be serving as your fire chief. we have many here that have shown up from the fire department. on behalf of the fire department we are proud of the city and the city's resilience and today is a perfect opportunity to remind everybody the importance and particularly the mayor who truly gets it, the importance of preparedness and helping each other out and knowing everyone's emergency plan and having plans for your family if you are not together and for your pets and we are also grateful to have three of the
members of the board of supervisors. i think that maybe a record. thank you. they work hard. president chiu, supervisor wiener and our former fire commissioner london breed. a big shout out to the murphy family. [ applause ] we have the murphy family and the morris family. mike morris is going to be retiring after 37 years. he's our chief at the airport. this is what history is about and never forgetting that history and remembering that morning in 1906 to come back and restoring our beautiful city. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, chief. it shows we appreciate more than just irish people this morning. [ applause ]
>> i appreciate everybody's patience this morning. the device is not dangerous. the bomb squad just forwarded. we'll be opening up market street shortly. you should give yourself a hand this morning. it just shows our resilience. we are not going to be denied our traditions. this is important to remember what happened. our level of preparedness even got better this morning. [ applause ] . i want to echo what the fire chief said. we continue to prepare all the time. we have a mayor who i know it's all about resiliency and getting back to where we were when and if and when it happens. with that, i'm going to give it over to bob to
give it over to the big guy. >> all right. the mayor we have today, please welcome mayor ed lee. [ applause ] . >> good morning, everyone. i thought when bob said he was going to introduce more irish people he was going to introduce me. i'm so glad you are all here today. i was checking to see if everybody was here. i want to thank you. we are coming together on the 107th anniversary. it's a constant reminder. i'm so glad to be working with everyone, the men and women from our department of safety and even today after we speak, we are
signing in legislation that the entire board of supervisors and certainly shows with us this morning evidence that we continue to work hard to make sure our city is safe. soft story buildings is next up and we do a top off for the safety buildings for the bonds. we are on it. we are working, we are vigilant. this is the way we honor all of our survivors and the people we remind about the earthquake. thank you again for coming together on this great anniversary. great to see you again, everybody. >> i know emperor norton is hanging around. where is the emperor? please come up and give us a proclamation. [ applause ] >> they are somewhere around
here. to remember this commemorative day, earthquake preparedness day. i invite you all to come after the painting of the fire. bloody mary. let's hear it for him. >> it's right now time to turn it to mayor lee. he's going to sign the soft story legislation. we are going to sign that. >> board of supervisors in a unanimous vote led of course by our president chiu and skont
wiener and and our engineer, we are all on this. mandatory soft story building ordinance certainly will make our soft story buildings have a backbone that will stand firm against any earthquake shaking and this is what we've learned through many years of study since not only 1906 but 1989 loma prieta and i sign this for not only for the things we have to do, but we have over 200 projects that are under way because the voters know we have to do a lot more preparation and we'll continue doing this. i'm glad the board has hearings. this ordinance also takes care of tenants who feel that maybe the
cost might hurt them and we have devised a plan that will assist them that needed some economic help. average building will spend about $60-130,000. everybody has been involved to preserve our housing stock. if there is a seismic event because of this ordinance and implementation they will stay in our city and make sure they survive and not be hurt by a soft story building structure. with that, are we ready to sign? all right. let's get it done. >> there we go. [ applause ] . thank you.